Tom Otterness & John Ahearn, Times Square Show Floor Plan & Artists List, 1980


Tom Otterness and John Ahearn, Times Square Show Floor Plan and Artists List, 1980.  Drawings by Otterness, notations by Ahearn.  Six-page offset print, front and back, on 3 sheets of colored paper, 8 ½ x 14 inches.

Amongst the many artists featured here, Jean-Michel Basquiat is listed as part of the Fashion Lounge on the second floor. This was the first time Basquiat exhibited in an exhibition.

Times Square Show, Mao, Plan, Tom Otterness, John Ahearn

Times square show, artist list

Times Square Show, Tom Otterness, John Ahearn

Time Square show, Artist list

Times Square Show, Map, Plan

Times square Show, Artist list

This 6-page floor plan and artists list is the closest thing there is to a catalogue for the landmark Times Square Show in June 1980.   The hand written listing of artists is by John Ahearn   The bird’s eye renderings of the different floors of the building are by Tom Otterness, today a celebrated public sculptor.  Among the many artists mentioned in this floor-plan guide are: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fred Braithwaite, David Hammons,  James Nares,  Judy Rifka, Rebecca Howland,  Andrea Callard, and Kiki Smith.

The Times Square Show took place in June 1980 in a former massage parlor on 41st Street discovered by Tom Otterness and John Ahearn who proposed renting  the location for an exhibition.  The idea for the show quickly spread and participation expanded way beyond COLAB to include hundreds of other artists from around the city.  Critics proclaimed the exhibition a watershed event and it received massive press coverage.  In 2012 the exhibition was the subject for the retrospective exhibition Time Square Show Revisited at the Hunter College galleries.  In reviewing this show the respected art critic Robert Pincus-Witten wrote in the December 2012 issue of ArtForum:

“Were we to have the beer-stained napkin upon which was scrawled the brainstorming list of the participants in, say the Salon des Refusés or the first Impressionist exhibition….imagine how precious such scraps would be.  It may yet seem a stretch to equate the Time Square Show of the the spring and summer of 1980 with these epochal undertakings….But it seems to me that the ephemera generated by this sprawling Pictures-era conclave, from handbills to broadsides to stray snapshots and videos are infused with the same talismanic quality.


For our complete inventory of Times Square Show items please click here.

Catalogues Collaborative Projects Inc (COLAB) John Ahearn Mary Lemley Times Square Show Tom Otterness


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